DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2018-0720; Product Identifier 2017-SW-012-AD; Amendment
39-19348; AD 2018-16-08]
Airworthiness Directives; Leonardo S.p.A. Helicopters (Type
Certificate Previously Held By Finmeccanica S.p.A., AgustaWestland
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of
ACTION: Final rule; request for comments.
SUMMARY: We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for
Leonardo S.p.A. (Leonardo) Model A109E, A109S, and AW109SP helicopters
with an oil cooler fan assembly (fan assembly) installed. This AD
requires inspecting each oil cooler system pulley assembly (pulley
assembly) bearing and replacing each fan assembly. This AD is prompted
by reports of degraded pulley assembly bearings. The actions of this AD
are intended to correct an unsafe condition on these products.
DATES: This AD becomes effective August 20, 2018.
We must receive comments on this AD by October 2, 2018.
ADDRESSES: You may send comments by any of the following methods:
Federal eRulemaking Docket: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the
instructions for sending your comments electronically.
Mail: Send comments to the U.S. Department of
Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor,
Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
Hand Delivery: Deliver to the ``Mail'' address between 9
a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
Examining the AD Docket
You may examine the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov
by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-
0720; or in person at Docket Operations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.,
Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains
this AD, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, the economic
evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street
address for Docket Operations (telephone 800- 647-5527) is in the
ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly
For service information identified in this final rule, contact
Leonardo S.p.A. Helicopters, Matteo Ragazzi, Head of Airworthiness,
Viale G.Agusta 520, 21017 C.Costa di Samarate (Va) Italy; telephone
+39-0331-711756; fax +39-0331-229046; or at http://www.leonardocompany
.com/-/bulletins. You may review the referenced
service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel,
Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy, Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, TX
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Eric Haight, Aviation Safety Engineer,
Regulations and Policy Section, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, FAA, 10101
Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222 5110; email
This AD is a final rule that involves requirements affecting flight
safety, and we did not provide you with notice and an opportunity to
provide your comments prior to it becoming effective. However, we
invite you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting written
comments, data, or views. We also invite comments relating to the
economic, environmental, energy, or federalism impacts that resulted
from adopting this AD. The most helpful comments reference a specific
portion of the AD, explain the reason for any recommended change, and
include supporting data. To ensure the docket does not contain
duplicate comments, commenters should send only one copy of written
comments, or if comments are filed electronically, commenters should
submit them only one time. We will file in the docket all comments that
we receive, as well as a report summarizing each substantive public
contact with FAA personnel concerning this rulemaking during the
comment period. We will consider all the comments we receive and may
conduct additional rulemaking based on those comments.
EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the
European Union, has issued EASA Emergency AD No. 2017-0046-E, dated
March 10, 2017, to correct an unsafe condition for Leonardo (previously
Finmeccanica S.p.A, AgustaWestland S.p.A.) Model A109E, A109LUH, A109S,
and AW109SP helicopters. EASA advises that during inspections of two
AW109SP helicopters, degraded bearings, part number (P/N) 109G6320L01-
101, were discovered on the engine and transmission oil cooling system
pulley assembly, P/N 109G6320A26-101. EASA further states that because
of this condition, both fan assemblies could cease to function,
resulting in engine power loss, transmission failure, and loss of
control of the helicopter. To correct this unsafe condition, the EASA
AD requires a one-time inspection of each pulley assembly bearing and
replacing each fan assembly.
These helicopters have been approved by the aviation authority of
Italy and are approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to
our bilateral agreement with Italy, EASA, its technical representative,
has notified us of the unsafe condition described in the EASA AD. We
are issuing this AD because we evaluated all information provided by
EASA and determined the unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist
or develop on other helicopters of these same type designs.
Related Service Information
We reviewed Leonardo Helicopters Emergency Alert Service Bulletin
(EASB) No. 109-EP-153 for Model A109E helicopters, EASB No. 109S-075
for Model A109S helicopters, and EASB No. 109SP-112 for Model AW109SP
helicopters, all dated March 8, 2017. This service information contains
procedures for inspecting each pulley assembly bearing P/N 109G6320L01-
101 for grease shield damage or leaking grease and axial and radial
play, and freedom of rotation of the bearing. This service information
also provides procedures for replacing each fan assembly P/N 109-0455-
01-103 with a fan assembly P/N 109-0455-01-101.
This AD requires, within 5 hours time-in-service (TIS), inspecting
with a borescope each bearing P/N 109G6320L01-101 grease shield for a
crack, position of the grease shield, and leaking grease. If there is
crack or leaking grease or if the grease shield is out of position,
this AD requires replacing each fan assembly with fan assembly P/N 109-
0455-01-101 before further flight.
This AD also requires inspecting each bearing for axial and radial
play and freedom of rotation. If there is any axial or radial play,
rotation resistance, or binding, this AD requires replacing each fan
assembly with fan assembly P/N 109-0455-01-101 before further flight.
If there is no play, no rotation resistance, and no binding, this AD
requires replacing each fan assembly with fan assembly P/N 109-0455-01-
101 within 20 hours TIS.
Finally, this AD prohibits installing fan assembly P/N 109-0455-01-
103 on any helicopter.
Differences Between This AD and the EASA AD
The EASA AD applies to Model A109LUH helicopters; this AD does not
as this model is a military model and does not have an FAA type
Costs of Compliance
We estimate that this AD affects 127 helicopters of U.S. Registry.
We estimate that operators may incur the following costs in order to
comply with this AD.
At an average labor rate of $85 per work-hour, inspecting the
bearings will require 1 hour, for a cost per helicopter of $85.
Replacing both fan assemblies will require 8 hours and $44,800 for
parts. Based on these figures, we estimate a total cost of $45,565 per
helicopter and $5,786,755 for the U.S. fleet to comply with this AD.
According to the Leonardo service information, some of the costs of
this AD may be covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost impact
on affected individuals. We do not control warranty coverage by
Leonardo. Accordingly, we have included all costs in our cost estimate.
FAA's Justification and Determination of the Effective Date
An unsafe condition exists that requires the immediate adoption of
this AD without providing an opportunity for public comments prior to
adoption. The FAA has found that the risk to the flying public
justifies waiving notice and comment prior to adoption of this rule
because the previously described unsafe condition can adversely affect
the controllability of the helicopter and the initial required
corrective action must be accomplished within 5 hours TIS. Therefore,
we find good cause that notice and opportunity for prior public comment
In addition, for the reason stated above, we find that good cause
exists for making this amendment effective in less than 30 days.
Authority for This Rulemaking
Title 49 of the United States Code specifies the FAA's authority to
issue rules on aviation safety. Subtitle I, section 106, describes the
authority of the FAA Administrator. ``Subtitle VII: Aviation
Programs,'' describes in more detail the scope of the Agency's
We are issuing this rulemaking under the authority described in
``Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart III, Section 44701: General
requirements.'' Under that section, Congress charges the FAA with
promoting safe flight of civil aircraft in air commerce by prescribing
regulations for practices, methods, and procedures the Administrator
finds necessary for safety in air commerce. This regulation is within
the scope of that authority because it addresses an unsafe condition
that is likely to exist or develop on products identified in this
We determined that this AD will not have federalism implications
under Executive Order 13132. This AD will not have a substantial direct
effect on the States, on the relationship between the national
Government and the States, or on the distribution of power and
responsibilities among the various levels of government.
For the reasons discussed, I certify that this AD:
1. Is not a ``significant regulatory action'' under Executive Order
2. Is not a ``significant rule'' under DOT Regulatory Policies and
Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979);
3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska to the extent that
it justifies making a regulatory distinction; and
4. Will not have a significant economic impact, positive or
negative, on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria
of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.
We prepared an economic evaluation of the estimated costs to comply
with this AD and placed it in the AD docket.
List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39
Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by
Adoption of the Amendment
Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the
Administrator, the FAA amends 14 CFR part 39 as follows:
PART 39--AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES
1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows:
Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701.
Sec. 39.13 [Amended]
2. The FAA amends Sec. 39.13 by adding the following new
airworthiness directive (AD):